Shining a light on brewing industry changemakers.
Beer lovers, it’s time to rejoice as Toronto's Festival of Beer makes its long-awaited return to the city this month.
From July 22 to 24, get ready to experience the best vibes and hundreds of brews while dancing your heart out to the fest's great lineup of live music.
If you believe you've already met your favourite beer, think again. Presented by the Beer Store, there are over 400 craft and international brews to discover, from pale ales and sour beers to hoppy IPAs, specially prepared by over 60 brewers.With a focus on those in the industry sparking positive change, Toronto's Festival of Beer looks to shine a light on breweries taking strides to positively impact the communities they operate within.
The best part of sampling in the Changemakers section? You can sip guilt-free knowing you'll be supporting not only small-scale breweries but ones that are driving real change. Check out these eight incredible Canadian breweries you should try at #TOBeerFest.
Charlotteville Brewing From Simcoe, Ontario
With beer made from hops grown on a family-run farm, the couple behind Charlotteville Brewing take sustainable brewing to a new level.
Professionally trained in France, these Simcoe-based brewers are committed to an ethical process that starts on their farm and ends with all beer being brewed in a historic turn-of-the-century barn.
Apart from ensuring sustainable brewing, the pair has pledged that all employees at Charlotteville are paid a living wage. Talk about a sweet team.
XhAle From Calgary, Alberta
With the goal to connect through craft, XhAle is for the conscious thinkers and drinkers who enjoy a provocative pint. The folks at XhAle, which is LGBTQ+ and women-owned, have built a brand on the value of creating an inclusive community and challenging the status quo.
Not only that, but all packaging is forest-based and recycled through their Pack4Good Initiative. XhAle brews within Alberta and Saskatchewan, so be sure to stop by the Changemakers area of the festival and share some stories over a tasty drink during their stop in Toronto.
Grey Matter From Kincardine, Ontario
With a vision of a taproom that serves up great beer with a side of true community, Grey Matter's owners quit their jobs and opened up shop in 2018.
Based in beautiful Lake Huron, Mike and Meag ensure the brewery is welcoming to all and a place to create lasting memories, while always leaving space to be silly. Not to mention the expertly crafted, endless beer on tap.
Shillow Beer Co. From Ottawa, Ontario
Sipping a Shillow means supporting a small family business that is committed to cultivating uniquely delicious beers.
Located in the Algonquin Anishinaabe territory commonly known as Ottawa, Shillow is an independent microbrewery that is both woman-owned and brewmastered (aka pretty much perfect pints).
Stop by, say hi and treat your taste buds to a pint touched by a brewmaster in a true celebration of beer.
TWB From Kitchener, Ontario
If you're looking to sip a pint with a story, look no further than TWB. Founded by six beer fans from very different backgrounds, including graphic design and welding, there was a shared vision of creating a brewery that blends craft beer and community.
Built from the ground up, TWB prides itself on being a little scrappy, ever-growing and always community-facing. During your time at Toronto's Festival of Beer, ask the team how they DIYed a bar top out of an old bowling alley.
Good Neighbour From Winnipeg, Manitoba
With founders holding over 25 combined years of experience exploring and tasting brews globally, you're going to want to meet the neighbours. Now based in Winnipeg, Morgan and Amber joined forces over a shared passion for craft beer and how it can bring people together.
Beginning with a dream to build something bigger than beer, the dynamic duo behind Good Neighbour strives for the brewery to be an inclusive environment that inspires honest connections and fosters a sense of community.
GoodLot Farmstead From Caledon, Ontario
GoodLot checks all the boxes when it comes to a changemaker brewery, from using ingredients grown on its own farm to being a local legend with mouthwatering beers.
Brewed on-site in Caledon, GoodLot wholeheartedly practices "regenerative carbon farming," which means their farming is guided by sequestering more carbon in the soil than what is emitted yearly.
Cheers to local farmers who approach brewing with a heart of gold!
The Second Wedge From Uxbridge, Ontario
Meet The Second Wedge! Inspired by the beauty of the four wedges of Oak Ridges Moraine and located in the heart of Uxbridge, this brewery creates flavourful ales with a lot of heart and soul.
Beyond its picturesque taproom, The Second Wedge team is proud to be an active supporter of local businesses, music and art.
For a weekend dedicated wholly to celebrating the golden beverage, clear your end-of-July calendar and head to Toronto's Festival of Beer.
Whether you grab tickets for one of the three days or make it a weekend-long endeavour, you have the chance to catch rap icon Nas on Friday, rockers Sam Roberts Band and The Strumbellas on Saturday and The Revivalists and Matt Mays on Sunday.
Apart from the impressive musical lineup, you can sample hundreds of unique brews and feel inspired with every sip in this year's new Changemakers section. You'll be supporting wholesome brewers from all walks of life that are making a real difference in the communities they work within.
Plus there's the added bonus of sipping flavourful craft brews alongside thousands of fellow fans.To grab tickets to Toronto's Festival of Beer, click here. To learn more about the festival, check out #TOBeerFest's website, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook.
Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol. If you're going to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly and only if you're of legal age.